News Column

Harmony clothing exhibit in Ambridge extended

August 14, 2014

By Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Aug. 14--The maroon overcoat was made of silk velvet and was hand-stitched for George Rapp, founder of the Harmony Society. The coat made in the 1840's is a popular centerpiece of an exhibit at Old Economy Village in Ambridge.

The run of "A Style of Their Own: Clothing & Textiles of the Harmony Society" has been extended to Sept. 21. It opened on May 8.

"We've had a lot of people taking about the exhibit and more people wanted to see it," said curator Sarah Buffington, The show is at Old Economy Village Visitor Center, 270 Sixteenth St., Ambridge, 15003. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Forty frock coats are on display along with five mannequins that display work clothes and Sunday-best clothes.

The Harmonists made their own cotton and wool cloth as well as silk spun by silkworms that were raised and cared for in the village, Ms. Buffington said.

The current show also displays ribbons, scarves, bonnets, socks and pieces of cloth woven by the Harmonists.

The delicate 19th Century garments must be carefully preserved, and they will be going back into storage until 2021.

Old Economy Village interprets the history of the Harmony Society, a highly successful 19th century religious communal society. Their home was in Beaver County from 1824 until 1905 when the commune was dissolved.

It is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in partnership with friends of Old Economy Village.

Linda Wilson Fuoco: lfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1953.

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(c)2014 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)


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